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Kindergarten Readiness in Henderson County Above State Level

Of the 502 kindergarten students throughout Henderson County, 51.8% were ready for school according the BRIGANCE Kindergarten Readiness Screener, which was administered throughout the state for the third year. 306 of the total students attended Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center for preschool, of which 53.1% were ready for school. Both scores exceed the state average of 50.1%, according to announcement by the Kentucky Department of Education in December.

According to the Kentucky Department of Education, the BRIGANCE Kindergarten Screener provides teachers with key information early in the school year that they can use to guide instruction and close learning gaps before they have a chance to widen. The screener is aligned with both Kentucky’s school readiness definition and Kentucky’s Early Childhood Standards.

As part of the kindergarten screener, parents also were asked to fill out a survey about what type of setting the child was in the year before starting kindergarten, along with their child’s social-emotional well-being.  The questionnaire did not distinguish whether the program was a half-day or full-day program but did allow entering multiple prior settings and the dates the child participated.

The Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center is the only state-funded preschool in Henderson County and served 306 (61%) of the kindergartners throughout the district. The majority of the Early Learning Center’s enrollment is made up of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch or students with disabilities. Ninety-six percent of the students enrolled for the 2015-16 school year met these qualifications. According the kindergarten screener, a greater percentage of students in these categories who attended the Early Learning Center are kindergarten ready as compared to the district as a whole.

Students who attend the Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center are assessed daily using the Teaching Strategies GOLD ® program, which monitors progress on the 52 Kentucky Early Childhood Standards. The data collected is analyzed for each student and as a program.

“We look at individual growth rates to determine the effectiveness of our program” notes Aleisha Sheridan, Administrator of the Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center. “A child may leave TBJ ELC without reaching levels that are within the expected range for his developmental age, but may have made great progress during the year. We work toward an expected growth benchmark for each child based on where he or she started at the beginning of the year.”

The students at ELC met or exceeded their expected growth benchmarks as stated below in each category.

  • Social-Emotional 97%
  • Physical 94%
  • Language 98%
  • Cognition 98%
  • Literacy 98%
  • Mathematics 98%

Students in the preschool program Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center attend school for three hours per day, four days per week.

For more information, contact Aleisha Sheridan, Administrator of the Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center at 270-854-0140 or via email at

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